“And after months of debating Cuaron vs. Inarritu vs. Almodovar, Eastwood vs. Eastwood, and Dreamgirls vs. The Departed, the burgeoning Democratic presidential field has given the film community something more to debate than who will win a statuette.

“‘Politics has come back, and with a huge thrill,’ said Irena Medavoy, wife of the movie producer Mike Medavoy, who has vowed to raise $100,000 for Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat, with an event at her home in March. (Her husband is neutral as yet.)

“What√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s more, she said, the fund-raising sprint gives Hollywood people a chance to speak out without fear of a backlash, a window that will eventually close. ‘Right now we can raise money and talk about the issues,’ Ms. Medavoy said. ‘In 2008 we√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢ll have to shut up again, because not only does Hollywood not matter, but you can hurt your candidate.'” — from David Halbfinger‘s N.Y. Times story about the Hollywood fund-raising frenzy among Presidential contenders.